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Comic-Con: Gareth Edwards To Direct ‘Godzilla 2′ After ‘Star Wars’, With Familiar Foes In Sequel

By | Saturday July 26, 2014 @ 12:45pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Comic-Con: Gareth Edwards To Direct ‘Godzilla 2′ After ‘Star Wars’, With Familiar Foes In SequelLegendary‘s Thomas Tull has just made it official at his Comic-Con panel: Gareth Edwards appeared via video announcing Godzilla 2. As for timing, he will direct it after helming the Star Wars spinoff stand-alone film that Disney has dated for December 16, 2016. They also disclosed Mothra, Rodan and Ghidorah would be part of it, and the clip ended with “Let them fight.”

RELATED: Godzilla Sequel in the Works

Edwards came to Comic-Con last year with the kaiju reboot which went on to be a hit for Legendary, and in the video message sent today “from a galaxy far, far away” he said he’ll return for Godzilla 2 after shooting his Star Wars pic. “We get to make another one,” he said. “I’m just up here doing a small little sci-fi movie, as soon as that’s over will be Godzilla 2.”

Tull said familiar Godzilla monster baddies Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidorah will appear in the next installment. “Toho’s been great to us and now we have more monsters to play with,” he said.

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Fanboy Overload: Photo Of Henry Cavill Wielding A Lightsaber

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 7:31pm PDT

Fanboy Overload: Photo Of Henry Cavill Wielding A LightsaberAs Hollywood and fans began to train their focus on Comic-Con tonight, Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder fired off a head-scratcher of a tweet — apparently from a galaxy far, far away. He sent out this shot of his Man of Steel Henry Cavill with #SuperJedi. OK, two questions: 1) Why so serious, Hank? 2) Captions, anyone?

Henry Cavill Light Saber

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Hot Video: J.J. Abrams Unveils ‘Star Wars VII’ Starfighter

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 6:17am PDT

Hot Video: J.J. Abrams Unveils ‘Star Wars VII’ StarfighterAs part of a UNICEF fundraiser being run on Omaze.com, director J.J. Abrams unveils the X-Wing Starfighter that will be used in next year’s Star Wars VII.  The fundraiser is part of an effort Disney has dubbed Force for Change, designed to raise money to “find solutions to the world’s biggest problems.” Last week, the campaign posted an amusing video featuring Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart (in drag as Princess Leia). Now they’ve gone full monte on the X-Wing to really wrap up the fundraiser in style. Here’s the trailer:

Campaign link to enter for a chance to win: Omaze.com/StarWars

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Hot Clip: Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert Get Silly For ‘Star Wars’

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 9:10am PDT
Mike Fleming

Hot Clip: Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert Get Silly For ‘Star Wars’This is amusing, and a good cause. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert get on their inner Star Wars in this silly video that offers up a part in the next film, in a charity effort. Now, I could say that this is better and has more tension than the last three Star Wars prequels, but I won’t, because this is for a good cause. Stewart’s punch line is worth the watch in itself.

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From Long, Long Ago, Georgia’s Oldest Theater Gets Oldest ‘Star Wars’ For Anniversary Screening

By and | Sunday July 6, 2014 @ 4:06pm PDT

From Long, Long Ago, Georgia’s Oldest Theater Gets Oldest ‘Star Wars’ For Anniversary ScreeningAtlanta’s Plaza, the state’s oldest continuously operating film palace, will open celebrations of its 75th anniversary on July 18 with an extremely rare screening of  Star Wars: Episode IVthe first of the six films (for the moment) in the much beloved sci-fi movie cycle. That original Star Wars film came out in 1977, then underwent a substantial cleanup of its VFX and more during the Special Edition version that came out on the film’s 20th anniversary. Disney officials confirmed that the digital print being provided the Plaza will be based on the Special Edition version which got a wide release in 1997. The original 1977 was re-released in April of 1981.

But think of this, some of the tickets are going for $75 a pop.

A few years ago, during a special event spotlighting Star Wars’ visual effects at the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles, writer-director George Lucas said that he would never want to re-release the film’s original version featuring the old (though then ground-breaking) VFX, because the technological progress made in the ensuing decades allowed him to come closer to actually creating the movie that he saw in his own head. Whatever the version on screen, the original Star Wars hasn’t had a lot of runs in theaters in quite a while. But then again, when the movie came out, it stayed out, setting box office records and running in some theaters for more than a year (76 weeks(!) at one Beaverton, Ore., theater alone) as part of … Read More »

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‘Star Wars’ Sets Short Hiatus As Two Actors Join Film

By | Sunday July 6, 2014 @ 12:27pm PDT

‘Star Wars’ Sets Short Hiatus As Two Actors Join FilmSome tidbits, none that earth-shattering, have trailed out of the Star Wars production, as they’ve scheduled a two-week break in August and added two newbies to the cast. The Lucasfilm/Disney production of Star Wars Episode VII picked the two actors after an open casting call across 11 U.S. and U.K. cities that garnered (as you can imagine) almost 70,000 applicants. The two-week hiatus in August was called as a result of schedule adjustments after  star Harrison Ford broke his ankle last month. We’re told that Ford, who is undergoing physical therapy for the next few weeks, has been recovering well and is expecting to return to the set soon.

After wrapping on-location filming in Abu Dhabi in May, principal photography continues at Pinewood Studios in London. LucasFilm said that the production remains on schedule, even with the hiatus, and should wrap in the fall in time for the Dec. 18, 2015 release. Read More »

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R.I.P. Stuntman Terry Richards

By | Wednesday June 25, 2014 @ 7:32pm PDT

R.I.P. Stuntman Terry RichardsThe stuntman best known as the scimitar-wielding heavy blasted by Harrison Ford in Raiders Of The Lost Ark has died. Terry Richards was 81. During a prolific four-decade career, he took falls is such screen gems as Star Wars, The Dirty Dozen, Brazil, The Princess Bride, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade and nine James Bond film with four 007 actors, ranging from From Russia With Love and Goldfinger to The World Is Not Enough. In the 1997 Bond pic Tomorrow Never Dies, a 65-year-old Richards worked over star Pierce Brosnan in a recording studio. The London native also served as a double for such notables as Donald Sutherland, Tom Selleck and Christopher Lee. “He fought Indiana Jones, James Bond, Luke Skywalker and Rambo,” his son Terry Richards Jr. told the BBC. “There’s not many people who can say that.”

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UPDATE: ‘Star Wars’ Bombshell! Rian Johnson To Write, Direct Next Two Films

By | Friday June 20, 2014 @ 11:55am PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: ‘Star Wars’ Bombshell! Rian Johnson To Write, Direct Next Two FilmsUPDATE, 11:55 AM: Rian Johnson hasn’t commented yet on his monumental new task of mounting the next two Star Wars films. Even better, he has borrowed the spirit of another space film, The Right Stuff, that perfectly explains how he must be feeling as he processes the daunting task ahead of him. I think he’s up to it. Glimpse it below Deadline’s original scoop.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 11:16 AM: Rarely have I seen the revival of a film franchise stir so much fervor as Star Wars, among hot young filmmakers who grew up loving George Lucas’ original film trilogy. In a bombshell move, I’m told that Lucasfilm is making a deal with Looper writer-director Rian Johnson to write and direct Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX. Essentially, that means that the intention is for Johnson to take the baton from JJ Abrams, who has gotten the space franchise off the ground and is right now helming Episode VII. I don’t know too much more at this point, but it is in keeping with Disney and Lucasfilm’s strategy of entrusting the venerable franchise to the best and brightest writers and directors, including the spinoff films that are being directed by Chronicle‘s Josh Trank and Godzilla‘s Gareth Edwards.

rian johnsonJohnson will take over the core film franchise, and he’ll get started quickly and this will be his preoccupation for quite awhile. Technically, he’ll write that second treatment but the intention on both sides is … Read More »

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YouTube Space LA Now Crossover Central As Online Meets Film, TV Projects

By | Tuesday June 17, 2014 @ 5:18pm PDT

YouTube Space LA Now Crossover Central As Online Meets Film, TV ProjectsThe all-comers creative space that YouTube has built in a mammoth former Hughes Aircraft hangar in L.A.’s Playa Vista neighborhood is rapidly becoming Crossover Central, as notable YouTube video creators based there work with studios and networks to create online companions to bigger media brands such as Star Wars, Godzilla and now BBC America‘s Almost Royal catfish-out-of-water reality series. The Star Wars project was relatively small, based around the annual May 4 (“May the Fourth be with you”) celebrations of that durable franchise, using a replica of the famous cantina scene in the original film. The YouTube operation helped Star Wars marketers pick four YouTube creators, who got to shoot episodes of their respective programs on the Cantina set.

Deadline Marketing Column Logo David BloomA similar but much bigger effort this spring at the YouTube Space LA involved Godzilla in a cross-media project of a scale worthy of its gargantuan namesake. Legendary Film marketing execs came up with the idea of bringing in an actual set from the latest installment, a command bunker, then got sign-off from partners Warner Bros and YouTube in just a couple of weeks. The set, along with a destructible version of the San Francisco skyline, was installed in the YouTube Space LA studios. Legendary and Warner Bros chose 30 programming proposals from about 100 video creators recruited by YouTube, then set them loose on the set, said Legendary’s Pearl Wible. The ones chosen were pulled from many different sectors of YouTube content, ranging from Michelle Phan‘s beauty advice (Godzilla really, really could use some good moisturizer, now that I think of it) to Nerdist (which did a series of “Godzilla Week” segments tied to the film’s run-up) to hard science. Read More »

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Licensing Expo: Companies Look To Sequels, Adults, YouTube To Sell More Merchandise

Licensing ExpoThose are a few of the themes propelling the entertainment industry hard-sell expected this week at the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association‘s (LIMA) annual Licensing Expo. Deals with manufacturers and retailers at the Las Vegas confab can determine what chachkas will appear on store shelves beginning this year. And execs are more upbeat than usual as they offer opportunities to license images tied to upcoming sequels to Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Fantastic Four, Superman, James Bond, and Finding Nemo for toys, T-shirts, and goodness knows what else. “Everybody is trying to get share of mind with consumers,” says LIMA SVP Marty Brochstein.

Entertainment companies — including TV and digital video providers — will be buoyed by strong sales figures from 2013 that the trade group will announce today. Stores in the U.S. and Canada sold $51.4B in merchandise tied to entertainment properties last year (+4.3% vs 2012) with licensing revenues of $2.7B (+4.3%). Entertainment was the industry’s biggest category: It accounted for 44.4% of the $115.7B in total retail sales (+3.3%), and 47.2% of the $5.6B in licensing revenues (also +3.3%). Read More »

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UPDATE: Harrison Ford Breaks Ankle In ‘Star Wars’ Mishap

By | Thursday June 12, 2014 @ 5:07pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 5:07 PM PT: There are all kinds of reports circulating HARRISONthat make it sound like Harrison Ford got mashed in that trash compactor in the original Star Wars. It’s not as bad as what’s being reported, I’m told, but Ford has a fractured ankle. This is a painful break for him, and a tough break for the movie, because he’s such an integral part of the plot.

PREVIOUS, 11:55 AM PT: Han Solo doesn’t move like he did 35 years ago. Harrison Ford suffered an injury to his ankle, filming the JJ Abrams-directed Star Wars film. Disney released this statement: “Harrison Ford sustained an ankle injury during filming today on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII. He was taken to a local hospital and is receiving care. Shooting will continue as planned while he recuperates.” Here’s wishing him well, since he’s booked for Star Wars duty, Alcon is planning to bring him back to star in another Blade Runner, and Disney plots another Indiana Jones. Ford’s 71 now, so presumably he’ll be able to relax around the time he’s 85. Ford’s ankle is repped by UTA.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff Makes Date With Pinewood; India’s ‘Holiday’ Travels Well; Nordisk Film TV Appointment

pinewood star warsBritain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne confirmed on Tuesday night that the UK’s relationship with Star Wars will continue. The MP was at Pinewood – where JJ Abrams’ Episode VII moved onto soundstages about 10 days ago – and tweeted, “On set of Episode VII tonight, can announce another #StarWars film will be made in UK. A #LongTermEconomicPlan in a galaxy far far away.” The Conservative politician caught a lot of flack on Twitter for the latter remark, but by and large the Star Wars movies, and other big Hollywood projects, are bringing a flood of money into the UK which has very lucrative film tax breaks. The currently filming Episode VII is due for release on December 18, 2015 and the standalone Star Wars Osborne referred to last night will also be shot next year. The spinoff is being directed by Gareth Edwards. Per local reports, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid added last night, “Given Lucasfilm’s decision to film another Star Wars movie in the UK, it is clear that the Force is strong here.” Read More »

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Lucasfilm Hires Disney’s Tony To As Head Of Production & Development

By | Thursday June 5, 2014 @ 9:10am PDT

disney_lucasfilm_logo__121030233602__121205001627__130419000056__130510231828Disney Studios EVP Production Tony To is crossing over to Lucasfilm, which said today the veteran is joining the company as Head of Production and Development. He will report to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy after a three-year stint at Disney and will be tasked with overseeing all live-action and animation production. That includes six new projects on the studio’s slate including Star Wars: Episode VII, the upcoming Star Wars Rebels animated series, and two recently announced stand-alone Star Wars films from directors Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank.

As part of the deal, To will continue to oversee Disney’s recently announced co-development deal with China’s Shanghai Media Group, a multi-year partnership to co-develop Disney-branded movies for U.S.-China co-productions. As part of that initiative, U.S.-based writers team with locally based Chinese writers and filmmakers to develop scripts that combine Disney’s storytelling and Chinese elements. Read More »

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‘Chronicle’ Helmer Josh Trank To Direct A ‘Star Wars’ Movie

By | Wednesday June 4, 2014 @ 9:16am PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Disney and Lucasfilm are wasting no time Josh Trank Star Wars Directormoving along on its Star Wars films. They’ve just set Chronicle helmer Josh Trank, who’s next directing the Fantastic Four reboot at Fox.

It is the second big hire of a hot young director for the franchise. After the monster Godzilla opening, director Gareth Edwards was set for an untitled Star Wars 3D stand-alone film, which Disney has dated for a December 16, 2016 release. Going young like this makes me more bullish on star-wars-logo__130325012712-200x144__131107212744what is happening here, because I felt that Lucas steered the last three films to a sense of complacency that I felt hobbled the franchise. Lucasfilm is lucky these directors grew up with the original groundbreaking trilogy, making these hot young shooters desperate to be involved here. Read More »

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‘Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards To Direct 2016 ‘Star Wars’ Spin-Off

By | Thursday May 22, 2014 @ 4:16pm PDT

Gareth Edwards Star WarsAfter his monster Godzilla opening, director Gareth Edwards has landed the director’s chair for an Untitled Star Wars 3D stand-alone film, which Disney has dated for a December 16, 2016 release. Alvin & The Chipmunks 4 from 20th Century Fox is the only competition so far on that date. How ironic, as it was Fox who distributed the initial Star Wars in 1977?

Related: ‘Godzilla’ Stomps Into Theaters With $9.3M; Int’l Numbers Arrive

Edwards’ kaiju reboot for WB had a $93M opening weekend and has already taken in over $216M worldwide in its first week in theaters for the biggest international opening of the year. In February Disney’s Bob Iger announced plans to release spin-offs based around individual characters outside of the planned Star Wars VII, VIII and IX , with Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg tapped to script.

Related: Lawrence Kasdan, Simon Kinberg Courted To Script ‘Star Wars’ 2 and 3

star-wars-logo__130325012712-200x144__131107212744The Star Wars spin-off news is fantastic for Edwards’ meteoric rise from helming his 2010 indie Monsters for $500K to the $160M-budgeted Godzilla. It also affects the timeframe for Legendary’s just-announced Godzilla sequel, which will have to wait for Edwards’ schedule to free up.

Related: ‘Godzilla’ Sequel In The Works At Warner Bros. & Legendary

Said Legendary’s Thomas Tull in a congratulatory message: … Read More »

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J.J. Abrams Unveils Charity Drive On ‘Star Wars’ Set: Video

By | Wednesday May 21, 2014 @ 7:34am PDT

J.J. AbramsJJ_Video Still has a message from the desert set of Star Wars: Episode VII. He’s offering fans a chance to appear in a cameo in the movie via a $10 contribution to Star Wars: Force For Change. The new initiative from Disney and Lucasfilm, in collaboration with Bad Robot, is dedicated to finding creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. The first Star Wars: Force for Change campaign will benefit UNICEF’s Innovation Labs and its programs aimed at helping the world’s most vulnerable children. Disney has committed $1 million to the project. Fans can contribute directly at Omaze.com/StarWars for a chance to appear in the film. For each $10 contribution, eligible participants will be automatically entered for a chance to win the cameo. The campaign runs through July 18. It looks like this is how Star Wars will be marketing itself in the social media era after tweeting out first cast photos and Abrams’ video on Star Wars Day on May 4. Pic is slated to be released December 18, 2015. Check out Abrams’ pitch:

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‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Begins Filming: First-Look Photo

By | Friday May 16, 2014 @ 12:14am PDT

star-wars-logo__130325012712-200x144__131107212744Just over two weeks ago the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII was finally revealed with some new faces and also some very familiar names. Looks like they got to work very quickly on the Disney pic because today director JJ AbramsBad Robot tweeted a photo from the first day of filming on a Star Wars movie in over a decade:

With the first of three new movies from a galaxy far far away set to be released on December 18, 2015, Harrison FordCarrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill; Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Adam Driver (Girls), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, About Time), Oscar-nominee Max von Sydow, and UK actress Daisy Ridley and Anthony Daniels AKA C-3PO Peter Mayhew AKA Chewbacca and Kenny Baker AKA R2-D2 will have a very busy summer and beyond over there in the UK. But, of course, the Force will be with them as always.

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

Star Wars VII Cast‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Cast Finalized: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson & Max Von Sydow
By Patrick Hipes
The cast of Star Wars: Episode VII is now official, announced by the team on StarWars.com, complete with a photo of a read-through.

Related: Final ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Cast: Photos

R.I.P. Efrem Zimbalist Jr
By Erik Pederson
The star of TV’s The F.B.I. and 77 Sunset Strip had scores of big- and small-screen credits in a career that spanned more than 60 years. Efrem Zimbalist Jr died today at his ranch in Solvang, CA. He was 95.

bob hoskinsR.I.P. Bob Hoskins
By Nancy Tartaglione
Oscar-nominated, and BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winning English actor Bob Hoskins has died. The star of such films as The Long Good Friday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Mona Lisa passed away Tuesday night following a bout of pneumonia. He was 71.

BOX OFFICE: ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Casts $92M Web; ‘The Other Woman’ Holding Strong; ‘Rio 2′ Passes $100M
By Anita Busch
Sony just weighed in with its estimate of $92M, with an expected $23.4M today for its Spider-Man franchise pic. With an international cume of $277M the franchise after this weekend will have grossed around $369M+ worldwide. Read More »

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‘Star Wars’ Day Update: JJ Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan Tease More Castings: Video

By | Sunday May 4, 2014 @ 4:10pm PDT

starwarsdayStar Wars: Episode VII helmer JJ Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan celebrated Star Wars Day today by letting virtually nothing slip in a “video selfie” message from London, where the filmmakers are ensconced with their primary cast now in place. On Tuesday Abrams unveiled his Episode VII line-up of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill; Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Adam Driver (Girls), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, About Time), Oscar-nominated Max von Sydow, and UK actress Daisy Ridley; and Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker. While he spilled no major May the 4th announcements, Abrams promised more casting announcements are to come:

Related: Hot Teaser: ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Animated Series

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